NBA

Lisa Byington makes history as Milwaukee Bucks announcer

"I know that I will be stepping into the role long-held by Jim Paschke... and it's my honor to be the one who takes the baton from him"

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Lisa Byington makes history as Milwaukee Bucks announcer

Lisa Byington becomes the first woman to announce full-time play-by-play television duties for a men's professional sports team after being named on Wednesday by the Milwaukee Bucks as their new star on Bally Sports Wisconsin.

Bucks appoint Byington as play-by-play announcer

Byington was understandably delighted with the appointment, but was quick to acknowledge those that came before her, most notably Jim Paschke.

"I know that I will be stepping into the role long-held by Jim Paschke, and I appreciate his passion for the team and the memorable moments his voice will always be a part of,” she said, after the legendary announcer had retired following 35 years in the hotseat.

"I'd be remiss if I didn't acknowledge his work and commitment to the franchise,” she added, “and it's my honor to be the one who takes the baton from him. I'm particularly excited to work with such an amazing team of Marques Johnson, Zora Stephenson, Steve Novak and everyone involved with Bucks games at Bally Sports Wisconsin."

She may be breaking more ground for gender equality but brings with her a wealth of experience. Successful spells working for the likes of CBS, ESPN, Fox Sports, and Big Ten Network, among others, Byington has demonstrated her talent both as reporter and in charge of play-by-play action. Other firsts for her as a woman were calling the NCAA men’s basketball early this year and previously covering a college football game for Big Ten, back in 2017. The Northwestern University graduate also handled the play-by-play for the 2019 Women's World Cup.

Byington with Bucks: "historic moment"

Peter Feigin, president of the Bucks and Fiserv Forum, had his say on the move.

"We are so excited to welcome Lisa to the Bucks family and to bring such a talented play-by-play announcer to our broadcast team. Lisa's extensive television broadcasting background, including her play-by-play work for high-level NCAA basketball on several national networks, makes her the perfect choice to take on this major role.

“While we appreciate the significance of selecting Lisa, and we celebrate this historic moment, Lisa earned this position based on her extraordinary skills and experience. We look forward to Lisa becoming the voice of the Bucks."